EDITOR’S NOTE: This column is part of the call to prayer issued by Frank S. Page, president of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, to pray for revival and spiritual awakening for our churches, our nation and our world. This particular Call to Prayer is an edited excerpt from an interview between Jason Allen, president of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Mo., and Steve Gaines, senior pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova, Tenn. To read or hear the entire interview, visit http://jasonkallen.com/2014/03/conversation-steve-gaines-prayer/.
The Lord Jesus is the only expert on prayer. Though He was God in the flesh, He put a high premium on prayer. How do you explain that? I do not know, except He knew that communication with the Father was imperative.
Jesus prayed openly.
Luke recorded that Jesus prayed at His baptism. As He prayed, the heavens were opened and the Spirit of God came down upon Him (Luke 3:21). I love that. One of the ways you open heaven is to pray.
Jesus prayed intentionally.
Immediately after His baptism, Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness for 40 days of prayer and fasting. As He prayed He came under temptation, but was victorious through prayer, fasting, and knowing and quoting Scripture — the only protection any of us have with any type of temptation. Jesus came out of the wilderness with an anointing upon Him. He came out “in the power of the Spirit” (Luke 4:14).
Jesus prayed constantly.
In his Gospel account, Mark noted that early in the morning while it was still dark, after a very busy previous day and night, Jesus went out to a place of solitude and prayed (Mark 1:35). The language suggests it was a protracted time of prayer. This was an apparent regular practice, for Luke indicated that Jesus often slipped away into the wilderness to pray (Luke 5:16).
When Jesus fed the 5,000, He took the little boy’s lunch and blessed it. He prayed over it and there was abundance.
Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. Judas knew exactly where to find Him because John recorded that Jesus frequently went to that place to pray.
Jesus prayed fervently.
Luke records that Jesus prayed fervently, and His sweat was like great drops of blood falling to the ground (Luke 22:44). It was very intense prayer. The writer of Hebrews noted that in the Garden, Jesus prayed with “loud crying and tears,” and “was heard because of his piety” (Hebrews 5:7, NASB).
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SOURCE: Baptist Press